Helps if I add a title…

Oh heavens, WordPress has done it again. It’s all changed and I’m trying to work out how to use it all over again. Humpf.

Just a quick post because I will be Internet free over the next couple of days so I’m making the most of it today. I’m making progress on the Cosy Blanket; as we’re away I thought it would be a nice easy project to bring with me rather than the slightly anxiety provoking CAL. I’m about half way through with this one, I’m love it but I have to admit I’m missing my Sophie (the flowery CAL that looks like the Easter Bunny accidentally threw up).

I will be homeward bound on Sunday, all going well, and ‘collecting’ a spinning wheel on the way…more about that another time…





Wool Hall

I’m loving the cuurent BBC costume drama ‘Wolf Hall’ about Cromwell and Henry VIII. I’ve read the books and it’s an adaptation that stands up to the original (unusually).
I’m fascinated by the Tudors and it started young.
Every Saturday without fail I used to go ice skating; it was around the time that Torvill and Dean won the Winter Olympics and Nottingham had gone crazy for careering around a small patch of ice at ludicrously fast speeds.
At the local ice rink (now demolished to make way for The National Ice Centre, with an even smaller rink, or maybe I just got bigger…) my friend and I went to the Saturday morning skating club where we learnt how to skate forwards without falling over, and occasionally backwards without too much mishap (apart from the time I broke my arm but we’ll draw a veil over that).

So what has this to do with the Tudors I hear you cry? Well, once a year at Christmas, there was, to my great excitement, a fancy dress skate party.
Still unsure about how this relates to 16th Century England? Hold your hockey skates.
I decided, most likely under the influence of a devious mother who had calculated how much costume preparation was involved, to go as Anne Boleyn, post execution, dressed in a white sheet with my ‘head’ under my arm, on skates, obviously. She was known for her skating skills. Not.
I chose to ignore that part and thought this was an excellent idea. I spent hours styling the hair and doing the make up on my Girls World (remember them?!? If you don’t, they were slightly scary plastic ‘heads’, a bit like an oversize decapitated Sindy doll, who had carelessly mislaid her body).
I was convinced that the junior hockey player both me and my friend had our eyes on would take one look at me and be so impressed by the originality of my get up that he wouldn’t fail to skate around the rink with me for the final song – the skating disco equivalent of the last dance.
How wrong I was. Please take a moment to create a mental picture of a slightly spotty teenager, hiding under an off white nylon sheet (my Mum wasn’t prepared to let me use a ‘best’ one, I’d had to make do with one that was older than me), clutching a Girls World in both hands, with felt tip around her neck, very unconvincingly like blood, especially as someone (not me of course) had left the lid off the red one so I’d had to substitute brown and green – determined to prove that red isn’t really a primary colour). Got that? Yup, cringe along with me.
The worst part, given the weight of a Girls World – they were HEAVY – and the effect it had on my centre of gravity along with the combination of trailing sheet meant that once I had the poor hockey player in my sights, the excitement tipped me over the edge. Quite literally, as I managed the most calamitous trip, was unable to windmill my arms due to my ‘head’, landed on my tummy, flat out, and slid the entire length of the ice rink in front of Everyone. I died.
So now I’ve relived the trauma with you I think that’s quite enough of the Tudors for today and I’ll show you a quick picture of my CAL.

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Perfect Valentine

We don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day as it seems to be more of a commercial enterprise (eg money making rip off) but for various personal reasons we have given it a go this year, albeit on the cheap.

It has been a most wonderful day, firstly I was given breakfast in bed – unheard of. Not only breakfast but home made pancakes, crispy bacon, maple syrup and banana. Utter heaven.

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Complete with a dozen snowdrops fresh from the garden and a candle in a huge jar; someone knows I love candles. That beats ‘plastic’ red roses that never open hands down.

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Finally, Mr Weaving Heart made bread. Hold. The. Phone. Proper crusty brown yummy bread.

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Ok, so before you reach the point where you never darken my blog doorstep again due to the incessant smugness I’ll show you some of my spinning. There is a type of ‘art yarn’ made with teeny nobbles of wool just like beehives and I think it’s the cutest thing ever. I decided to have a go. Lookee here:

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It’s not quite a beehive but still kind of scores on the cute scale of cuteness.
That is until I realised it wouldn’t fit through my orifice. I realise for you non-spinners that sounds rather rude but it really isn’t. A spinning wheel has a little hole, called an orifice, that the yarn travels through before winding onto the bobbin. By the time I’d pulled and prodded my little wooly nobble (probably my favourite word) through the orifice it resembled less a beehive, more an ant hill. Hey ho, life isn’t perfect and thank heavens for that.

Midweek meanderings

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After my ‘crash’ at the weekend, I’m now feeling much better and am back on track. Woo hoo; it’s always a relief as although I know the lightning process works, part of me hangs onto the belief that it won’t, not this time. Anyway, much happiness to be functioning fairly normally for me. I had some lovely comments and support from you so thank you very much for being so lovely.

As most of you are aware I am now a Business Woman and oh so grown up.

Ahem. Except I’m not, not by any stretch of the imagination. It implies that you’re a grown up for starters, organised and focussed.

Oh dear. I use the excuse that as I am running my own creative business, this lets me off all that. I’m allowed to be scatty, muddled and butterfly-like as long as I continue to make beautiful things. What a shame it doesn’t work like that. Not nowadays anyway, I don’t think. There is so much competition out there that if I’m to stand any sort of a chance I need to keep up with social media (hello), use great marketing ‘stuff’ (I’m sure it has a very clever technical name) as well as make fantastic decisions about how to invest in the business (i.e. more yarn or another spinning wheel?)(I’m starting to get a little obsessed with a new spinning wheel – how good would it be to have a wheel that matches the loom?!?).

The way I cope with all of this is rather than bend myself into a different shape (I’ve done that before, doesn’t work and it can be very uncomfortable as well as slightly off-putting to others) I have to keep coming back to putting one step in front of the other and trust whatever it is I believe in (some kind of universal benevolent energy with sparkles today) to look after my family and I. It’s worked so far, as long as I don’t start buying said spinning wheel and only the yarn I need rather than want (being a grown up is sooo hard!).

The above photo was taken last week in Ullapool, well not technically in Ullapool, but in a forest walk nearby. One of the joys of working for myself is being able to take off for the day. Before I go here’s another one, see you very soon x

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Recap

Today’s post is coming from the depths of M.E. Slightly ironic as it is around 12 months since I went on the lightning process training. As (hopefully) I have a few more readers than a year ago (according to WordPress I set them on fire last weekend although I suspect that has more to do with the wrap competition than any eloquences in my actual writing) I shall provide some background.

1. I had a ‘successful’ career after having studied for a MA whilst working in the NHS, running a private practice and (albeit haphazardly) looking after a family. I.e. I never really stopped. Weekends were for flinging myself up the biggest mountain I could find.

2. We moved to Scotland where there be giants (of mountains).

3. I got virus after virus; my new work mates thought I was a bit of a skiver.

4. I decided to take a couple of days off sick; my GP took one look and signed me off for the next 8 months.

5. I didn’t move very much at all and learned to be careful what you wish for (lots of knitting time).

6. At the point I was about to be dismissed due to ill health I undertook the lightning process, a kind of neuroprogramming to teach my head to be well again.

7. It worked, however, as my trainer told me the very first time we spoke, I have regained appropriate energy. I can live as I wish as long as I listen to my body and focus on balance (said in a very disparaging tone of voice).

8. I realised the NHS rat race was no longer for me, that I react badly to stress and now work for myself as a weaver.

So there you have it in a nutshell. The last few weeks have been fairly s**t and I have been stressed which equals body shock. It hit me rather hard today and I took myself off to bed with a cup of tea after having, yet again, realised what fantastic friends I have, eliminated the stress, as best you can, and feel better. Thankfully life goes on.

I’m very happy with my crocheting. I’ve just started part 5 of Sophie’s Universe and am enjoying it immensely, not least as I saw the first parts of this pattern in Ravelry a while ago and didn’t think I would ever be able to follow the pattern for it.

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Competition!

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This week has been momentous in various ways, the most wonderful being that the Weaving Heart Facebook page reached over 1000 likes. It isn’t that long ago when we were celebrating 100 so to see 10x that rocks my world. I never cease to be impacted by the warmth of the response to Weaving Heart and have been humbled by the support out there.
As a way of saying ‘thank you’ there will be a little competition. It’s open to everyone until 12 noon GMT 8th February and all you need to do is answer a few simple questions that can be found https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1wEvjU1IiY76z6qV6bp8MFwQwKDrJ7vdHpeHxwI3mnd4/viewform

You can win a

1st prize: handwoven baby wrap from the ‘Reflexion del Sol’ warp, measuring 3m, with hemmed selvedges, blunt hemmed ends in 80% cotton and 20% linen

2nd prize: A Weaving Heart goodie bag

3rd prize: £20 Etsy voucher for use in the Weaving Heart Etsy shop

Here is the dull part and I would rather stick pins in my eyes than read on but you may be different and that is what makes us fabulous!

Terms and conditions:

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or WordPress.

Competitions close on 8th February at 12 noon GMT.

Winners will be entrant who answers all questions correctly. In the event of multiple correct entries winner will be drawn at random from correct entries.
The winners will be notified by Facebook or email within 7 days of the competition close.
Within 14 days of notification the winners are required to email or Facebook message confirmation of their postal address(es) and acceptance of the prize(s) to Weaving Heart. In the event that the winner(s) does not provide the required confirmation within 14 days their entry will be disqualified and an alternative winner will be chosen.
As a winner, your name and location will be posted on our Facebook page once we have communicated with you to let you know you are the winner.
The prizes will be sent by recorded delivery if winner is resident in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), within 14 days of receipt of address confirmation from the winner. In the event of a winner outside of the UK an appropriate form of delivery will be arranged – Weaving Heart will cover the first £5 of international shipping, the winner will be required to pay for, any outstanding fees or charges including shipping, taxes or any other fees imposed by an outside body. Extra shipping charges to be paid to Weaving Heart via Paypal. The full value of the prize(s) will be declared on any appropriate custom forms.
Weaving Heart will not be liable for any prize(s) that do not reach the winner for reasons beyond their reasonable control.
All entrants must have a valid email address.
All entrants must be aged 16 years or over, this competition is not limited geographically and is open to entrants worldwide.
The prizes cannot be transferred and no cash alternative is available.
Winners name and county may be displayed on http://www.weavingheart.com.
Winners consent to their name and county being disclosed on the Weaving Heart website as stated above.
Only one entry permitted per household
By entering the contest, entrants agree to all additional competition rules.
The decision of the owner of Weaving Heart will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
By entering the contest, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions, which are governed in accordance with the laws of Scotland.
In the event that any terms and condition(s) are deemed invalid, illegal or otherwise unenforceable, they shall be severed from these terms and the remaining clauses will remain in force.
Any automated/bulk entries and entries from third parties will be disqualified.
We reserve the right to change these competition rules without notice.
Contest entry is FREE and limited to one entry per household.
Weaving Heart will never disclose or sell any of your personal information to any third party.

 

Centred

It’s funny isn’t it? You’d think that by the grand old age of 42 I would be less influenced by outside ‘stuff’ and able to hold onto the bigger picture?
Ha! Not a chance…
My most recent offering to the baby wrap Gods (Goddesses?) did not turn out as I’d anticipated and I feel I’ve lost my weaving way a little. I’ve been dragging my handknitted sock clad feet (boy that was a mouthful) down to my weaving shed and indulging in a little self beration.

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They’re ok-ish and I’m happy with the weaving – no mistakes or flaws there but it comes back to being my own worst critic. I’m just a bit ‘meh’ about them.
Then someone leaves me a lovely review in the Etsy shop and suddenly everything is all ok again. The sun is shining, the view is beautiful and my little (hum, anyone who knows me irl would be excused from thinking this is a slight minimisation) rainbow wooly feet do a happy dance in front of the warping board.
Now I quite like the wraps, one has a weft change middle marker.

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Another has a twinkly addition of some gold thread, very subtle but who doesn’t love a little sparkle?

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The final wrap doesn’t (yet) have any additions but is simply 4.2m of silk/merino buttery softness but with a strength that’s quite reassuring

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So there we have it. Who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow but maybe if I stop the naval gazing just a bit and focus on things outside of me I may become the middle aged (in a good way) grounded person I know is in there somewhere…
Whoever you are today, enjoy it and be gentle with yourself, go on just a little bit.
PS I’ve just realised the last photo is the wrong one and due to my non techie skills and the joy of wordpress I’m not sure how to change it without messing up the format. So here you go, THIS is the merino loveliness.

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Repeat after me…’it is ok to make mistakes…It is ok to…’. Heavens Above!